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Blog Posts

Breaking down hard concepts and explaining them

Marc Filippino

Tough concepts are all part of being a reporter. Sometimes a subject is going to come your way that you don’t understand completely, but you’re going to need to know how to explain it your listeners. There are a few ways to tackle hard ideas, and all of them include taking your sweet, sweet time.

  • This might sound obvious, but do your homework. Find out as much as you can about the topic on your own and write it down. Take notes the way you did in high school or college and study them. In the long-run, it’ll pay off.
  • Explain your concept to a friend. It’s all about getting out of your own head, and getting to a point where you can discuss your story clearly, and with confidence.
  • Walk around with your phone and record yourself. (Yes! Just like they do in the movies!) You’ll spitball a bunch of really terrible ways to write your story, until you blindly stumble on the best way. And when you trip across it, it’ll be recorded. The point is to think about it subconsciously while you’re doing something else. Fold laundry and talk to yourself and about it, wash dishes and talk to yourself about it, drive (safely) and talk to yourself about it. Sometimes, having your head on "autopilot" can be the best way to figure out how to write your story.